Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Rose Macarons (Not Safe For Snakes)

Bringing my A-game today with Macarons! Filled with a delicious white chocolate rose ganache.

I was lucky enough to have a visit from Father Humble today, who kept me company and played with the little Humble while I worked in the kitchen. Since I rarely have unfettered kitchen time, I used this afternoon to have a little macaronathon.

Some back story for these cookies: While poking around at the local Indian market last weekend I came across a little packet of burgundy powder. The sticker read 'Rattan Jot Powder' and I had never heard of the stuff. There was no other info on the package that might help me identify it so I took it to the clerk and asked him about it. He told me it was something used in North Indian cooking and that was all he knew.

When it comes to new and interesting foods, I have a 'buy now Google later' policy. So I took the little packet home, went online and I discovered it was the ground root of the Alkanna tinctoria. A plant that produces a natural, food-safe coloring. So rubbed it between my fingers and sure enough, a very nice red. Then I tasted it and couldn't pick out any discernible flavor. So of course I'm thinking: gorgeous burgundy powder + rose macarons = pretty.

But that is not all! According to the root has other 'benefits', aside from decorating my cookies.

'It is an herb under the dominion of Venus, and indeed one of her darlings, though somewhat hard to come by. It helps old ulcers, hot inflammations, burnings by common fire and St. Anthony's fire . . . for these uses your best way is to make it into an ointment also if you make a vinegar of it, as you make a vinegar of roses, it helps the morphy and leprosy . . . it helps the yellow jaundice, spleen, and gravel in the kidneys. Dioscorides saith, it helps such as are bitten by venomous beasts, whether it be taken inwardly or applied to the wound, nay, he saith further, if any that hath newly eaten it do but spit into the mouth of a serpent, the serpent instantly dies.... It also kills worms. Its decoction made in wine and drank, strengthens the back, and easeth the pains thereof. It helps bruises and falls, and is as gallant a remedy to drive out the smallpox and measles as any is; an ointment made of it is excellent for green wounds, pricks or thrusts.'

That's right. My rose macarons will deal with all those snake bites and leprosy issues you have. Can Tartelette's macarons do that?

I don't think so.

You can also make deadly macaron spit that will instantly kill serpents. That's like... a super power.

Hello citizens, I'm Super Humble and I drool snake-death!

Cross my heart, if you eat these macarons you would have a legitimate reason to start wearing spandex jumpsuits and your underpants on the outside.

So before you consider if you'll use your powers for good or evil, let's go over how to bake these pretty little cookies.

I used my not so humble macaron recipe found here: Lemon Mascarpone Macarons and colored them with a little pink food coloring (The rattan jot may have proved useful here but I didn't want to take chances with any more failures this week, so I stuck with gel coloring)

Follow the directions to make the shells and before baking, put a little of the ratten jot powder into a tea strainer and tap it over each macaron (warning, I think I may have stained my silpat baking mats with the stuff so I recommend using parchment) and bake.

Not so Humble White Chocolate Rose Ganache:
100 grams E. Guittard white chocolate
100 grams Ghirardelli white baking chips
50 grams heavy cream
10 grams rose syrup
1 gram rose water

Warm the baking chips in the microwave in 30 second bursts until glossy then stir until smooth. Add the rose syrup and rose water. Stir vigorously, the mixture might be a little chunky at first but it will smooth out as you continue to mix.

Then heat the cream to a simmer over medium heat and then pour over the white chocolate. Allow to sit for about 30 seconds and then stir until the chocolate has melted completely. Combine both the white chocolate and the white baking chip mixtures and mix by hand. Again the mixture might not be completely smooth at first, but it should become smooth and glossy with enough mixing. The end result should have a smooth peanut butter like consistency.

If the mixture appears too thick, add a little more hot cream and mix thoroughly.

Chill this mixture for at least an hour and then it is ready to fill your macarons.

Oh, and I did have one pan of maca-wrongs today. You know how I insist on stacking two heavy duty aluminum baking sheets? Well look at what happens when I forget the second pan: Weird feet and hollow shells. Not good!

I baked three other batches on double stacked, thick aluminum baking sheets and they came out great. Just remove a pan and look at what can happen. That is one temperamental cookie.


  1. This can also happen when you don't stack your baking trays.

    Your macarons are SO pretty, my city isn't fancy enough to carry these nice natural decoratives :(

  2. OOO a pretty way to kill buttworms, will have to keep that in mind next time my kids have an outbreak.

  3. Mary: Yea, using stacked baking trays really helps diffuse the heat that rises from the bottom of the oven.

    Buying several sets of new baking trays early on probably saved me many headaches attempting to troubleshoot my macarons.

    Fidget: I laughed so hard I almost woke up my baby.

  4. I love your blog but was curious what you do with all the macarons, lammingtons, cookies, etc. you make. Your profile says you are a stay at home mom. I can't believe the Humble family eats it all.

  5. It all ends up eaten by somebody. I usually don't have trouble pawning food off on others.

    The only thing I've had to throw away so far were my first three batches of macarons. They were never filled, just piled into a big metal bowl (batch after batch) while I continued to work on my technique. They went stale and eventually were tossed. Very sad.

  6. I don't know about the whole snake bite thing, but those are very pretty cookies!

  7. Hahahah - classic! Who knew cookies could create superpowers? I'll have to see what I can put in my next batch, though they're not as fancy as yours.

  8. Strangley, I love rose colored food.

  9. I must take these along the next time I go hiking in the wilderness - just in case!

  10. These are beautiful! And a great argument for packing macarons rather than trailmix on a camping trip.

  11. Macaronathon :) Maca-wrongs :) I love your word-ly creations!! :)

    And well, those look absolutely stunning. Such gentle rose color and I like the powder on top! Those look like perfect macarons in one of those pretty Parisian bakerys :))

  12. I can't believe you have the patience to just keep baking - I tried to make lamingtons (inspired by you!) for Australia Day and have vowed never again! Or at least, never again until I forget the hassle I went through! It was mostly my silly cake-breaking error really, but I did find the coating oh so messy and troublesome.

    Macarons I would just love to try - I absolutely love them - but I'm scared!

  13. I hadn't realised until now, but I share that policy. The one exception was kewra water, but I'm alright now.

    I have yet to attempt macarons. Maybe when the new kitchen is fitted. And mine will be purple!

  14. I lost my head the other day, but one bite of the superfood later, I found it. And all telemarketers stopped calling. And my house cleaned itself.

  15. How absolutely gorgeous! LOve your blog, this is my second visit through Foodgawker, will definitely come back more often, especially if there are more underpants on the outside type shenannigans :)

  16. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I love white chocolate and really feel hungry now!


    food social network * wine social network

  17. How beautiful! Your macarons are so perfect - each and every one of them!

  18. "Buy now, Google later." Yes, we have a thick round disk of palm sugar in our pantry, waiting for Miss Chef to figure out what to do with it. "It looked interesting" is all the excuse she needs. I doubt her result--whenever it comes--will be half so pretty as these!

    For some reason, I picked out the phrase "It helps falls and bruises..." Really? I won't fall if I eat this? That truly does deserve a cape!

  19. Beautiful looking macarons!!! They are absolutely perfect!

  20. Cures leprosy, eh? Sounds like one of the recipes from the Trotula.

    Does it work on TB, too?

  21. I love Macarons, they've become an unhealthy obsession of mine... These looks so pretty!!!!! I do so need to try the Italian Meringue method!!!! But it's going to rain all weekend, so no go :(

  22. Have you heard of "Shaktimaan"?? Means strong-man.. that's what your macarons will make us!! LOL LOL

  23. Simply amazing,look yummy and beautifully photographed!

  24. Sarj,

    Lamingtons are such a pain to make, you're right. Messy and difficult.

    My 'cheater-lamingtons' are easier. I just make cupcakes, frost/glaze and then dip the tops in coconut. Way less fussy than handling an object that is coated on ALL sides with wet gooey stuff.

  25. The Mother,

    Unfortunately the cookies are helpless against TB.

    I'll hunt down another mysterious powder and make anti-TB brownies.

  26. Do you do your own food photography? It's gorgeous. Just had to say. :)

  27. Katrina,


    Yes, I do all my own photography. Though occasionally my husband will do some of the photos.

  28. Awesome! Beautiful AND snake-killing :) I'd love to try making macarons one day...but first I need actually eat one!

  29. I think I may be one of your newest followers! I love your blog and your macarons! Gorgeous pictures too! I will be back for more, can't wait to try some of your recipes x

  30. Really trustworthy blog. Please keep updating with great posts like this one. I have booked marked your site and am about to email it to a few friends of mine that I know would enjoy reading..
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  31. Oh my gosh! These look amazing! I am quite addicted to macarons, and I have blogged on them too. Glad to see someone else who enjoys the fine things in sweets.

    Check my post on macarons out @

  32. Love the rose filling and your pictures. I'm working my way up to making them after a huge macaron kitchen nightmare because i didnt grind the almonds fine enough

  33. On my own macaron journey I stumbled across your blog, and I love it :) I'm three batches in (first two hopelessly botched, but eaten anyway, the last one looked pretty, but still wasn't perfect - a bit hollow inside). I have a question about the pan stacking: my oven has a top heating element, not bottom, so I was wondering if it is still crucial to stack the pans? European ovens are different from American in that they come with their own baking sheets (steel, not aluminium). Also, they are not stackable and Wilton isn't readily sold here.. Does it mean my macarons are doomed?

    1. Nope, not doomed in the slightest.

      You only need to stack if you're having trouble with too much heat from the bottom of the oven. If your oven heats from the top only, then you won't have that issue.

      However, you may have the problem of your cookies browning with top only heating. In such case, it is wise to pre-heat the oven very well and place another pan towards the top of the oven, to shield the cookies as they bake below. This is only needed if the cookies brown, otherwise ignore this advice.

      For trouble with top heat only ovens, baking on baking stone can help provide heat directly to the bottom of the pans/cookies. This is only needed if you notice your cookies developing brown exteriors while still remaining gooey inside with short feet, even with extended baking times.


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